Daniel Adongo is a quick study. Just over four months since landing with the Indianapolis Colts, the former rugby player will suit up for his first NFL game.
The Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder reports the 24-year-old from Kenya will play on special teams in the Colts' Sunday clash with the Cincinnati Bengals just a few months after learning how to properly put on pads.
IndyStar Sports tweeted out the big news, showing off an exhausted Adongo in a picture that is altogether fitting for this turn in his career.
Reading Holder's report, the one thing that really comes across is Adongo's tireless efforts to better himself on the field. To that end, he's changed careers seamlessly.
In July 2013, The News-Sentinel posted the following video of Adongo preaching patience when it came to his foray into football.
Talent and hard work trump patience, because Adongo has worked his way off the practice squad and on to the roster ahead of a crucial game.
The 8-4 Colts head to Cincinnati to take on the 8-4 Bengals in an AFC clash that could have playoff repercussions. The Colts currently own the tiebreaker over the Bengals.
It's a nice little tip of the hat to his talent that he made the squad so soon, but Adongo is as measured as he is diligent:
I think it's a tribute to (hard work). But with that said, I'm not going to let that excitement get to me. It's being subdued by my duty and obligation to do my job and whatever is asked of me by my coaches.
For those not familiar with the story, Adongo made his way to the Colts and signed a contract on July 30.
From there, he had a mountain to climb. Holder writes, "And by basics, we mean basics. Strapping on a helmet and learning to properly wear shoulder pads would be among his first lessons."
But the budding football player impressed his colleagues. Linebacker Robert Mathis stated, "Whether he's using a spin move, a chop spin, rip dip, bull rush, he's working."
Defensive end Cory Redding offered, "Whoever is across from him is in trouble. You're gonna see."
The former rugby standout isn't ready for life as a defensive end just yet, but he is more than capable of streaking down the field on special teams. Adongo states, "With my skill set from rugby, I think that's more transferable right now on special teams."
Coach Chuck Pagano was eager to sing Adongo's praises as well, via Mike Wells of ESPN:
I think back to his very first workout, when we first brought him in after a 17-hour flight to Atlanta and a connection up here...to try out, [and] from what we saw to right now, it's night and day. The guy is a smart guy, we know from a physical standpoint he's very, very athletic. He can run, he's big, he's strong and he's a tireless worker.
Pagano forgot to mention, the man is a beast:
It would be easy to consider Adongo's journey a job well done, but we assume he has some unfinished business in the form of locking in on and hunting down elusive quarterbacks.
Even if that day comes, which is increasingly more likely, there is one thing we are confident about: Daniel Adongo will never stop working.
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